I will install a bi-fold door in my house, but the jambs here in Brazil already have rabbets for the door stops made in the jamb.

I'm trying to figure out where should the fold goes when the door is opened.

1) It could fold to the inside of the jamb (resting on the jamb when open). enter image description here

2) Or it could fold to the outside of the jamb (with the two leaves outwards). enter image description here

Which is the proper way of doing that? The second ways seems like the door corners should be rounded over so as to not hit the door stop, like the drawing below: enter image description here

BTW: This hinges for bifold doors in Brazil have a handle in the center hinge. enter image description here

2 Answers 2


The answer is, it depends which side of the door is the "public" side so to speak.

The door should be pull from the side that you open it from most often so you can use the handles.

It is hard to tell from your images, but I'm thinking the door leads to some sort of storage area so option 1 would be the best choice since you will open/close it from that side.

Remember also... Bi-Fold doors are really hard to close from the back-side without doing something weird to them to give you something to grip in the middle (as you have shown).... They are really not meant to be used as bi-directionally closable doors.


Clearing the rabbit hole.

In order to clear the rabbit and jamb, you need to move the pivot point a little further in. Moving the pivot points further in will allow the door to centre outside the jam when open as shown below. You may have to "Maguiver" the bottom bracket a bit if it does not let you go out that far. Remember when calculating the distance to the hole in the door to include space to allow the door to pivot.

The pin at the top on the other side of the door should be the same distance from the central door hinge as the pivot point hole.

enter image description here

With the swing the way you want it you would need to move the door out of the rabbit and add a piece of trim to the rabbit to create a new facia like below.

enter image description here

Personally. I's save myself a lot of fuss and bother and not use bifold-doors. I'd switch to the more modern French-door style.

enter image description here

  • The hinges for bifold doors here have a handle in the middle that does the function of closing it (I added a photo of the hinge in the post). One door will be between the bedroom and the closet and the other between the closet and the bathroom. The rabbets are on the side of the bedroom in the first case and the closet in the second. Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 20:24
  • I see @LuizBorges, interesting compromise they came up with. Still that's not too pretty for the user side. In your case you need the doors to fold OUT into the bedroom and the bathroom..
    – Trevor_G
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 20:30
  • The one folding out into the bedroom must them have rounded corners all alond the edges to prevent it from binding and hitting the door stops (something that I would like to avoid if possible). Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 20:35
  • 1
    @LuizBorges, I'd sincerely switch to French doors. it takes approximately the same space, looks the same when closed, and it A LOT easier to install / use.
    – Trevor_G
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 12:40
  • 1
    @LuizBorges Yes, you may have to tailor the doors to fit. However, folding doors are notoriously awkward to get started to close when fully open. I am concerned your wife is going to curse you every time she tries to close them with a hamper full of clothes under the other arm.
    – Trevor_G
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 15:50

A bifold door should "fold" into the "main room" and the hinges should be away from the "approach" side.

  • After considering a lot of factors I will make them fold into the rooms they enter (my closet room and my bathroom), since those are more likely to be closed from the inside than from the outside. But now I have a doubt. What about if by chance the handle falls out or break. How can someone open the door from the inside since it must be pulled to open? Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 10:35
  • 1
    If the handle breaks, you'll be able to reach down and grab the door in the middle and pull it towards you to open it.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 0:08

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